"Victory! Weak ones will fall at my feet, their bodies smashed by my power. Victory! - KAMCHAK
In a world of new first person shooters, Accolade's Eradicator adds a few new touches to the 'all too familiar' genre, which makes it a worthwhile venture.
The story takes place on Loxia, a planet that has three moons. An alien force has erected an ion field around the planet and it's moons. These moons hold the galaxy's only source of a vital element that all beings must have. Your mission is to penetrate the ion shield and enter the Citadel. Once inside, you must destroy the enemy forces now in charge.
If this sounds like a typical story line for a first person shooter, that's because it is. But as we all know, this sort of game doesn't need a story, it needs carnage, and I guarantee that you'll see plenty of it!
After you choose which level you'd like to play, you are given the option of playing one of three characters: KAMCHAK, (a Treydan Warrior who looks like a reptile in full body armor), is a master at hand to hand combat. He volunteered to go to the planet first, to destroy the evil forces. He is relatively slow but gifted with high strength and armor. ELEENA BRYNSTAARL (cat woman) is a mercenary who saw this mission as an incredible opportunity to make some hefty cash. She is the fastest of the three characters and has an increased jumping ability. However, her strength is the lowest and her armor is almost non-existent. Finally, there is DAN BLAZE, a human cyborg. DAN is a mining engineer who was trapped inside the mines when the alien forces took over, and he must now fight his way to freedom. His abilities are all average.
Each of the three characters has a unique beginning stage. As you play, whichever character you've chosen will make comments on the area to give you a taste of their personality.
The graphics in Eradicator are not that different from Duke Nukem. In fact, that's all I could think about while I was playing. The enemies move in that same quick, 'can't really see what they look like' way as they do in Duke. Also, the characters and enemies have multiple flat drawings for each of their sides, as in Duke. I guess I was hoping for some polygon action like the Quake engine provides for it's game.
The main contrast is that Eradicator spices up the action by giving you a third person perspective. In addition, PIP screens were added to select weapons and video cameras. The PIP screen is a small, camera-view screen in the top left hand corner. Now players can control spider- like bombs and change to the bomb's point-of-view as they seek out their intended target. Other weapons, like mines and missiles, will give you the same option. Some levels also have main computer terminals that will allow a player to take control of an enemy robot and use it against it's own forces.
Finally, another great change from the norm is that players can hold up to fifteen different weapons at one time, which is exactly what this sort of game needs!
The music and sound effects of Eradicator are not too different from others. Most levels have eerie music and sounds that play in the background as you explore the surrounding areas. The opening screen has a cheesy, 'heavy metal on training wheels' song that plays until you start. Game sounds are nothing to write home to mom about. Explosions and multiple types of blasts from your weapon arsenal are varied. But nothing that I thought really stood out. I would have to say that one of it's charms is the character comments (once again, a Duke Nukem trademark). They can be funny at times and really help give the player a sense of the character they're playing.
Overall, Accolade's Eradicator is a fun first person shooter. Although it's not a very new and exciting idea, it has it's charms. The puzzles in the game can be a nuisance at times, but at least they're not too difficult (which is VERY nice for a change). The use of PIP screens, third person views, and character personalities are great plusses for Eradicator. So, if you have an itchin' for some blood and guts, give it a try. I really can't say that I hated it, although I also didn't fall in love with it either.